For businesses, good information ultimately transcends to making money. This is because business strategies are based on intelligence gathered from the information. Currently, we live in an age of information overload. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. For some more information on this data span called big data span click here.


Now, Why and How Social Sites Became Important

 

In Twitter alone, there are more than 40 million tweets that are sent out every day detailing everything about consumers who live at different parts of the world. Facebook has 1 billion users who are constantly in dialogue about events, products or services. Myspace, a private online community allows members to share journal, photos, and comments to describe their interest.

In this age, when product presence and future is influenced by consumers, their reaction towards a service or product and even a company is highly important, because this will –

  1. Ultimately decide the demand that is created within the market.
  2. Companies can pick up consumer pulse well in advance.
  3. Customer reactions can be gauzed from the comments and post.
  4. Whether a new product would actually work out or not can also be gauzed from here.

Why? The ultimate goal is to read and identify customer service issues, attitude, and volume of conversation or brand trending topics. For instance, in online social spaces such as Facebook or Twitter, consumers might be discussing about an ad or any product that is newly launched. Through an effective system it is possible to monitor public sentiments about your company for free. Your advertising and R&D teams or even you C-suite and other decision makers of your company can pinpoint problems from such discussions. But when actually such dialogue is occurring, it is in a very raw stage. Unless proper amalgamation and visualization is done, one cannot channel the information to the right people. But it is necessary because your company name can be unnecessarily dragged into a negative propaganda. Only if you know the problem can you use PR professionals for reputation defense at the right time.

Analyzing unstructured data

One needs to remember that in this channel, called the Social media sites, the consumers are multiplying every second. However, the data is unstructured and thus more difficult to integrate within available data system in use or the business intelligence tools used now. This information will not prove to be useful to a company unless it is harnessed properly.

A company, which is looking to use social media to gain momentum, must be using a system which is:

  1. Fast as the social media information exchange itself.
  2. Can recognize the important information from those that is not required.
  3. Efficiency and quality in data visualization is also significant.
  4. Affectivity in reaching quality conclusion is very important.
  5. Cost efficiency must also be kept in mind.

Social Data Analysis Tools

Social data analysis tools observe what is said about your brand, services or products. It facilitates both qualitative and quantitative analysis. One can perform predictive analysis. Well-reasoned influential social networkers can be prioritized. For instance, from customer connection and interest, one would know their influences and exactly how and when to address the problem. Relational data can be extracted from text. One can also compare business success in a specific region by identifying successful business stories.

The features and functions that currently exist in most of the Business Intelligence tools are data integration, analytics, and dashboard. This provides a good framework for use of data as business intelligence. With the trend of increase of use of social media, the organizations need business intelligence solutions that can embed social media as a part within BI platforms to achieve higher level of ROI.

Existing Tools

There are many more. For companies with mature BI infrastructures and large investments these tools are extremely important. Businesses that are newer to BI can consider dynamic solutions that either integrates interactive features within their product offerings or that integrate with other tools that offer increased flexibility.